Former Malaysian leader Mahathir Mohamad said Friday he is disgusted because his comments on attacks on the Nice church in France had been taken out of context.
"I am indeed disgusted with attempts to misrepresent and take out of context what I wrote on my blog," Mahathir said in a statement.
He said critics failed to read his posting in full, especially the next sentence which read: "But by and large Muslims have not applied the 'eye for an eye' law. Muslims don't. The French shouldn't. Instead, the French should teach their people to respect other people's feelings."
He said Twitter and Facebook removed the posting despite his explanation, and slammed the move as hypocritical.
"On the one hand, they defended those who chose to display offending caricatures of Prophet Muhammad ... and expect all Muslims to swallow it in the name of freedom of speech and expression," he said.
"On the other, they deleted deliberately that Muslims had never sought revenge for the injustice against them in the past ... what is promoted by these reaction to my article is to stir French hatred for Muslims," he added.
The comments by Mahathir, a two-time prime minister, were in response to calls by Muslim nations to boycott French products after French leader Emmanuel Macron described Islam as a religion "in crisis" and vowed to crack down on radicalism following the murder of a French teacher who showed his class a cartoon depicting Prophet Muhammad.
Mahathir's second stint as prime minister lasted from 2018 until he quit in February 2020.